By D. Mark Mitchell
The Fourth of July has come and gone. OHS athletes are back working out and preparing for the 2014 season. The Bulldog football team participated in team camp and 7 on 7 games this week. Coach Blackmon, starting his sixth season as head coach, has, as his main goal, getting his team better and making sure each position has a backup who can step in when necessary.
Last season the Dawgs found themselves with no backup quarterback. Starter Mathew Christian broke his collar bone against Smiths Station in the seventh regular season game and was out for the remainder of the season. Freshman quarterback John David Worth was injured the following Monday in a junior varsity game against Auburn.
Coaches turned to athlete Stephen Roberts to fill the void. The nifty athlete performed as well as you could ask. Roberts had never taken a snap before the Jeff Davis game in Montgomery in the week following the Smiths Station game.
I know our coaches are working hard to make sure every position has a backup. The preseason practices are a great way to experiment with players in other positions.
Opelika is getting ready for the 2014 season’s opener Aug. 22 against Carver in the “Champions Challenge” at Cramton Bowl in Montgomery.
OHS will participate in the National 7 on 7 Select Tournament in Hoover next week, July 17-19.
Keep up with Opelika athletics daily by going to the official OHS sports web site, www.thedawgnetwork.com. The site contains schedules, pictures and other information.
The Opelika Dixie Boys All-Star team (13 and 14-year-olds) won the District 5 tournament this week in Opelika.
Opelika finished 8-0 in tournament play, beating Auburn twice, Phenix City, Southern, Southeastern and East Montgomery.
The group of 13- and 14-year-olds won the Sub-District and District Tournaments over the last two weeks.
Opelika will travel to Muscle Shoals July 18 for the State Tournament.
Nine teams will battle for the state title and a trip to the World Series in Bossier City, La. Aug. 1-6.
Team members are Carter Milner, Paul Money, Jalen Miller, Jared Bartlett, Matt Humphrey, Andy Huling, Jacob Callaway, Trevor Williams, Nathan Johnson, Taylor Jones, Dalton Jenkins, Dylan McCann and Luke Davis. Team manager is Britian Murphy and coaches are Chris Johnson, Tommy Bartlett and Brent Milner.
Congratulations on your success so far and good luck in the next two rounds.
D.Mark Mitchell is sports director for Qantum Radio, Alabama Dixie Boys State director and vice president of the A-O Sports Council.